The number of criminal offences the Drumheller RCMP tackled between April and June 2022 has increased by 15 per cent compared to the same period in 2021 according to the quarterly update presented by acting commander Corporal Alexander MacDonald during the regular Tuesday, September 6 regular Town of Drumheller council meeting.
Cpl. MacDonald notes, although these numbers have increased, this is partially attributed to an increase in public engagement and reporting, and changes in staffing at the detachment.
“We have had a lot of success in identifying suspects in thefts lately due to assistance from the public-surveillance video, Crime Stoppers tips, photos, et cetera,” Cpl. MacDonald tells the Mail.
Along with the increase in total offences, Cpl. MacDonald noted the number of traffic offences increased by 88 per cent compared to 2021; this, he says, is a combination of detachment members being more visible in the community and initiating more traffic stops, as well as filling a vacant traffic position.
He also added, although the number of Controlled Drugs and Substance Act (CDSA) and federal offences have decreased-both by 69 per cent compared to 2021-these are due to a Crime Reduction member transferring and the position remaining vacant due to other vacancies in the detachment.
Cpl. MacDonald says the detachment has noticed an increased number of residents posting about small crimes on social media groups and pages rather than to the RCMP.
“We encourage everyone to report thefts, whether they think it is important or not,” Cpl. MacDonald said. “We will investigate any and every theft complaint that comes in, so we don’t want the public to feel like their complaint is not worth reporting.”
He also reminds the public to ensure their property is secured, whether it be their car, shed, or home.
Cpl. MacDonald notes some recent thefts were crimes of opportunity and could have been prevented by locking vehicles or not leaving keys inside unoccupied vehicles.
Especially with colder temperatures around the corner, Cpl. MacDonald adds it is very important to ensure vehicles are locked while being warmed in the morning, and keys are not left inside the vehicle where possible.
Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail